A ten-point charter for the future of further and adult education

  1. Public investment is crucial: An extra £1 billion of public funding is needed to reverse the 32% real-terms cut in the adult skills budget since 2010.
  2. Further education is a collective good: All course fees should be removed for individuals studying accredited and non-accredited courses up to level
  3. Colleges should get equal funding to schools: Further education colleges cater for a higher proportion of 18-year-olds compared to schools and sixth form colleges, so they are more disadvantaged by actions such as cutting the funding rate for 18-year-olds and this should be addressed.
  4. Long-term planning brings greater stability: Clear funding commitments over a five-year period are needed to allow coordinated planning of resources.
  5. local collaboration leads to a joined-up education service: Further education should be returned to the control of local regional bodies, with input from parents, education providers, community groups and employers and a focus on collaboration rather than competition.
  6. Further education teachers need space and support to learn: There should be a profession-wide commitment to continuing professional development, but an end to Ofsted’s pernicious performance management.
  7. Financial support is needed to widen participation: The education maintenance allowance and the adult learning grant should be restored, or similar initiatives pursued to encourage participation.
  8. Further education teachers should be fairly rewarded: Teachers in further and adult education should receive equal pay to school teachers.
  9. Learning is about more than employability: Greater recognition needs to be given to the wider benefits and broader purposes of further and adult education; it can provide an enriching experience for people of all ages and abilities and should be celebrated for all of its positive outcomes.
  10. Further education’s public profile needs to be raised: Further and adult education is a vital part of the education sector, and more needs to be done to inform the public about the benefits which it can offer.

Download the charter here